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PSU, city team on economic development study

February 10, 2014 9:15AM

Michael Davidsson, Janet Zepernick, Deana Thompson, and David Oldham all work to produce the Pittsburg Area Micropolitan Economic Report.

The Kelce College of Business is playing a major role in the economic future of the Pittsburg area, and it has more to do than just helping to produce future business leaders.

Led by assistant professor and economic researcher Michael Davidsson, the KCOB is embarking on a series of retail and economic development studies aimed at helping promote economic growth in the region.

“The Pittsburg area has great potential for economic growth and development,” Davidsson, a native of Reykjavík, Iceland, said. “What we want to do is study the economic trends in other areas our size and identify the true possibilities for our community.”

The KCOB will work closely with the City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce throughout the process, a partnership that Davidsson said is “vital to our success.”

“Having Pittsburg State, the city and the chamber all working together for a common cause is a wonderful benefit for our community,” he said. “We each play vital roles in the success of Pittsburg and the surrounding areas. I am very excited to work closely with city officials on this endeavor.”

Also vital to the process is the publication of the quarterly Pittsburg Micropolitan Area Economic Report, which is developed by Davidsson and his assistant, Deana Thompson. The report, which is distributed to more than 700 area businesses, features the latest facts and figures regarding economic, property and employment trends in the region.

“It’s a broad overview of every sector of our regional economy,” Davidsson said. “Its purpose is to help our business people be more informed about the economy so they can better position themselves for success in the future.”

Davidsson, who developed a similar publication for the Tulsa area during his 12 years with the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, added that he hopes more information will encourage the city and its business community to “invest in the future.”

“Investment is very important to the economy,” he said. “It can lead to more business and more employment. Of course, investment can be a volatile component because it is tied to expectations. It’s important that our local business leaders have as much information as possible so they can make informed decisions about their next steps.”

Davidsson comes to Pittsburg State after earning his doctorate in economics from Oklahoma State University. He holds a master’s degree in economics and business from the University of Central Oklahoma. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Davidsson has taught for Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University and University of Tulsa.

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